Omaha's Dick Martin preached goals -- and achieved all his own -
Published Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm / Updated at 4:59 pm
Omaha's Dick Martin preached goals -- and achieved all his own

From serving in the military to becoming a carpenter to owning a successful countertop business, Richard “Dick” Martin of Omaha achieved his goals.

And goals were important to Martin, said daughter Susan Awender of Omaha. He didn’t hesitate to share his philosophy with his three kids, his employees and his many friends.

“Even when he got sick, he would tell people, ‘You always have to have a goal,’” Awender said.

That illness — esophageal cancer — claimed his life on Monday after a three-year fight. He was 77.

Martin was born in Omaha and graduated from North High School, where he met his wife, Carol. He was in the Army for two years, obtained his carpenter’s union card when he got home and joined a crew to build houses, bridges, hospitals and dormitories.

He bought a Formica fabrication business in 1980, renamed it Martin’s Countertops and added an installation service.

Awender and her brother Tim became owners in 2000, but he remained involved.

“Even after he retired, he’d still come in on Saturday mornings,” she said. “And he still had opinions. He called the business his fourth child.”

Still, he made time for other activities. He loved going to Harold’s Coffee Shop in north Omaha to meet the guys each morning. He enjoyed golf and vintage cars. And on Tuesdays, Dick, Carol and Sue served meals at the Siena Francis House homeless shelter.

“He liked to meet new people. And every person who met him liked him,” his daughter said.

In addition to his son, daughter and wife of 55 years, survivors include another son, Michael, of Omaha; a sister, Kathleen Harrison of Bella Vista, Ark., eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at Roeder Mortuary, 2727 No. 108th St.

Contact the writer: Betsie Freeman    |   402-444-1267

Betsie Freeman is a reporter covering social services, philanthropy and other topics.

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